Still Living as Slaves of Sin?

Romans 6:1-6 ESV

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”

This baptism in Christ Jesus being talked about here is a spiritual baptism. It is not water baptism, although in Bible times water baptism was often congruent with spiritual baptism. This baptism being talked about here is that of us dying with Christ to sin and us being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him in holiness and righteousness, in the power of God. This is our new birth in Christ, our salvation from sin and eternal life.

Since we died with Christ to sin in order that we might walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives, then we should no longer continue living in sin. Sin should no longer have mastery over our lives. We should no longer be under the control of sin. We should no longer be enslaved to sin, but we should now live as slaves of God and of his righteousness, to the glory and praise of Jesus Christ who died to free us from our bondage to sin.

We should no longer live like the ungodly do who have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. For that is not the way that we should have learned Christ and his gospel, if indeed we were taught the truth that is in Christ Jesus to put off our old self and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:17-24)

For Jesus taught that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin/self) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our old lives, we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin) for the sake of Jesus Christ, then we will have eternal life with God. So, this dying with Christ to sin is not a one-time deal and then we are guaranteed heaven when we die. We have to die daily. (Lu 9:23-25)

Romans 6:12-16 ESV

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

Since Jesus Christ died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin, we should no longer let sin reign (be in control, in power) in our bodies, to make us obey its passions. So, this means that our salvation from sin isn’t just forgiveness of sins and a free ticket into heaven when we die. And it means that we can’t keep on in habitual and deliberate sin against God and against other humans without guilt or without punishment.

For, if we truly belong to Christ, and if we are truly saved from our sins and bound for heaven, our sins are to have been put to death, and they must continue to be put to death daily. Our lives are to be given over to righteousness, instead, and not just as a status we wear, but to living righteously and in godliness and not in fleshly lusts. For, if we are those who are making it our practice to obey sin, we must know that ends in death!

If we want to be assured of our salvation and of eternal life with God, we need to read what the Scriptures teach, in context, regarding our salvation and eternal life. We need to read how we must die with Christ to sin daily, and how we must follow our Lord in obedience to his ways and to his commands, for obedience leads to righteousness and sanctification, which then ends in eternal life with God. God’s promises to us are conditional.

Romans 6:20-23 ESV

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

“When you were slaves of sin” should not be our present condition if we truly have been set free of our sin by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. For, when we were slaves to sin we were free in regard to righteousness. Righteousness had not part with us. We were not bearing fruit for God’s eternal kingdom, but we were bearing the fruit of the flesh and of sin, which ends in death, not life eternal.

But if truly we have now been set free from slavery to sin, now we should be slaves of God and of his righteousness. And the fruit that we should get from that leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. So, what this is saying is that our salvation is continuous, that it is progressive, and that we must stay the course to the very end if we want to have salvation from sin and eternal life with God at the end. God’s promises, again, are conditional.

Now, you may say, “Then how is our salvation a free gift?” It is if you understand what that free gift is. For the free gift is not just forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die. The free gift is freedom from slavery to sin so that we can now walk in righteousness and holiness in the power of God. So, if we refuse to live in freedom from slavery to sin, and if we refuse to walk in righteousness and holiness, we have refused the gift.

So, when this says here that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, we need to read this in the context of this entire chapter, and in the context of the whole of the book of Romans. For this is talking about active ongoing habitual sin. It is talking about us obeying sin and not obeying our Lord. The wages of continued deliberate and habitual sin is death.

But the free gift of God, which is freedom from slavery to sin, and freedom to walk in righteousness, is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. So, please take this to heart. We must walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. We must not make sin our practice. Righteousness must be what we practice. And we must walk in obedience to our Lord if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Jn 8:31-32; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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